The following is a statement by Tarsha Jackson, TOP’s Harris County director, in reaction to today’s announcement of a change in policy by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in dealing with possession of small amounts of marijuana:
“We applaud Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg for the step she took today to make the criminal justice system in our county more just, fairer and more sensible.
“Jailing people for possessing small amounts of marijuana never made sense. But it did invite racial profiling by making it easier to jail Black men and people of color.
“And it is straining our resources, both on the street and in our jails, to arrest and jail people for such low level offenses.
“This reform also reflects people’s changing attitude toward marijuana. When we knocked on the doors and called more than 360,000 voters in 2016, the promise of criminal justice reform helped move people to the polls. Today justifies people’s faith in Kim Ogg. She is delivering needed reform, and we look forward to supporting other reforms from her office.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Brown communities in Texas’ three largest counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.